IN five days, it will be Christmas and Nigeria will join their counterparts around the world to commemorate the birthday of Jesus Christ once again. This spiritual and social festival comes with same fervour every year, among followers of Christian religion, in remembrance of the birth that took place over 2000 years ago. This is part of the mystery that makes it thicker than other seasons in Christainty’s liturgical calendar. Over the ages, Christmas has evolved into a feast with different meanings to different people in different climes.
THIS, perhaps, explains why the festival is celebrated in low key in some parts of the world, while in some other places, the celebrations come amid pomp and ceremony, with a lot of eating, drinking and no-holds-barred merrymaking. There are also orchestra, church worship, visits. Exchange of visits and travels – both far and near – form a strong memorials of the period. . Given the time of year, the period is marked by festivities as well as once-in-a-year opportunity of kinship and communal reunion.
BUT beyond grand ceremonies comes the vital call it places on Christians not to forget the reason for the season which is the coming of a redeemer and messiah as their faith projects. Christians can get carried away by Christmas euphoria. Such amnesia misses out on the spiritual significance of the birthday of Jesus Christ, Mary’s Boy-king who brought good tidings and peace to all men of goodwill. Though the reason for Christmas is love, charity, good neighbourliness and sacrifice to all mankind – not only close relations. Hence the expression, unto us the Saviour was born to redeem and reconcile humans with their Maker.
THOUGH, the real message is often consigned to background while ostentation takes centre stage as some Christian faithful overreach one another in a needless contest in spending as if Santa Claus is coming to town with a laurel for whoever carries the day. While not a few care whether they run into debt while draining down an entire year’s savings on choice cuisines, exotic wines, lavish parties, egocentric journeys and duplicitous gifts, there are others who will not celebrate Christmas without adding another car brand to their fleet just to show they have ‘arrived.’
Another set of people cannot do without expensive holiday stops in one resort or another groove – in ‘rocking’ the season – as if Christmas celebrations not themed on extravagance is intrinsically below par.
BUT it is entirely possible to spend less at Christmas and still flow with its tradition. Instead of willingly walking boisterously into difficulty because of a wasteful yuletide, it is possible that we would celebrate wisely and evolve in a much jollier note into another year devoid of bleak financial weather and hangover. People can still bedeck their homesteads and public spaces in decoration that reflect the traditional zeitgeist of Christmas and smartly do more with so little as Anambra has laid its templates since March 17, 2014.
THIS is why we call for caution in festivities that paint everywhere red to herald Santa’s train.
WE predicate the call for caution on the premise that Christ signifies moderation and humility because though he was a King, He was born in a manger to a common carpenter whose family remains reference point in lowliness. While His earthly ministry continued, Christ took the plight of the sick by healing them, the captives by freeing them from their afflictions and the hungry by feeding them. He did so even when he could have remained aloof to their needs since He had all the earthly riches and splendor at His beck and call.
Why then will some people keep fluttering in spending sprees under the facades of celebrating His birthday. More so, when current global economics clime does not support wastefulness?
WE KNOW that Shylocks are already waiting in the dark, scheming to orchestrate artificial scarcity in one essential commodity or another. Soon, prices of these daily-need goods and services will rise beyond rooftops and open more holes in people’s pockets.
But those at the buying end of the chain should resist the sellers by ensuring that this Christmas is hued with a tinge of moderation that will not allow merriment carry them away into bleak January. They should remember the significance of the occasion and emulate the examples of Jesus Christ.
THANKS to good fortune, the Federal Government on Monday assured Nigerians of adequate fuel supply this Yuletide.
ACCORDING to Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, there is sufficient stock to smoothly oil the chain of supplies and distribution of petroleum products across the country so that this festive period will be enjoyed by Nigerians without hitch.
THE assurance is very important when viewed along with the usual hyperinflation characterising Christmas especially in southern Nigeria.
The fact that usually dealers on petroleum products who reap off the masses stimulate fuel scarcity or jitters elsewhere in the oil and gas sector to maximize profit in the season makes any effort to check the phenomenon apt.
THEREFORE, people who operate with consumer product market should help government to ensure that this Christmas is celebrated in a way that reduces stress and financial hangover, which comes after popular festivals.
MERRY Christmas and a prosperous New Year to our esteemed readers.